Families of 16 of the 22 killed in ‘Gawkadal Massacre’ untraced: police to SHRC

Families of 16 of the 22 killed in ‘Gawkadal Massacre’ untraced: police to SHRC
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Srinagar: A police report submitted before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on the Gawkadal Massacre of 1990 has said that the kin of six deceased persons have been granted relief out of the 22 persons who lost their lives, the kin of the rest being “untraced”.
The police details received by the SHRC from Police Station Kralkhud state that 22 people were killed and 12 were injured in what is known as the Gawkadal Massacre of 1990. The police reply states that only six families were traced whose relatives were killed in that incident, while the rest 16 families remained untraced as they had “perhaps changed their residence as more than 25 years have passed since then”.
The police reply also states that records were not available as to whether any relief was provided to any of the 12 injured persons.
The police reply was given in response to a petition filed in 2012 by human rights activist Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, chairman of the International Forum for Justice, before the SHRC (number SHRC/112/2012).
Ahsan Untoo told Kashmir Reader he has now requested the SHRC to direct fresh efforts from the police and government to locate the remaining families. “The administration seems to be callous in claiming that the rest 16 families could not be traced,” he said. “This is total injustice with the families who were denied relief. How come is it possible that the families have remained untraced?”
Untoo also castigated the state for not punishing the BSF men who resorted to indiscriminate firing on peaceful protesters at Gawkadal in January 1990. “It’s an irony that BSF men involved in the massacre were identified and yet are roaming scot free,” Untoo said.